Twitter's Oprah-tunity: Time to get down to business

Twitter's Oprah-tunity: Time to get down to business

Summary: Now that Oprah has placed her Midas Touch on Twitter and the membership numbers seem to be growing as a result of it, you'd think that Twitter would be able to hammer out a revenue model that would allow the financial floodgates to open. But, no, Twitter continues to give it away - the platform, the audience, even the tools to tap into it.

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Now that Oprah has placed her Midas Touch on Twitter and the membership numbers seem to be growing as a result of it, you'd think that Twitter would be able to hammer out a revenue model that would allow the financial floodgates to open. 

But, no, Twitter continues to give it away - the platform, the audience, even the tools to tap into it.

My CNET colleague Rafe Needleman published a Twitter piece (no, not a tweet) this morning with the appropriate headline: Please, Twitter, take the money. His point, in a nutshell, is that Twitter should be involved in a "contractual, monetary business relationship" with the companies who are using Twitter to extend their brands into the Twittersphere - currently, for free. That's not only a gain for Twitter but also for the companies, which can now hold someone accountable for performance issues.

In recent months, as Twitter has continued to grow, we're seeing the fail whale more often - a sign that Twitter is ill-equipped to handle the traffic of tweets being written and read - pushed and pulled, if you will. When an "over-capacity" message appears on the screen, you accept it and try again. Rafe writes:

But if I were running a program on Twitter that was, for the sake of argument, scheduled to run simultaneously with a live event--say, a Super Bowl ad--I would sure want to know whom I could call at Twitter to yell at to get this fixed.

I'd want a contract with a penalty clause for downtime to wave in that person's face. Without a contractual, monetary business relationship, there's no actual responsibility, and who wants to base a business plan on good wishes and intent?

OK, Twitter, here comes the next wave: Oprah... AND friends. That's a big crowd, a grown-up crowd that spends real money and is attractive to real advertisers and marketers. The Ashton-CNN-Oprah impact puts Twitter further into the mainstream, extending beyond the boost it received during the U.S. presidential election.

It's time to buckle down and get down to business, real business, with real money and real performance. Let's get those dollars flowing and the hardware upgraded and unleash the potential of what this service really can be.

More than just a startup with a cutesy name.

Related coverage:

Can Twitter's backbone handle sudden jump in popularity?

Twitter's celebrity appeal: Growth model or downward spiral?

Twitter and news media: A long-term relationship or just a fling?

Topics: CXO, Hardware, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

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5 comments
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  • Change the slogan

    Why is it just for her and Friends. What happened to Family? Is that in
    her Plan? Bring back the noble senior Phil D. I say, at least he made me
    think about things and not so much about feelings all the time.
    dascha1
  • RE: Twitter's Oprah-tunity: Time to get down to business

    I think Twitter's already "jumped the shark". Now that Oprah, CNN, and friends have move in, the hardcore techie crowd will start looking for the next thing.
    ccrashh29
  • RE: Twitter's Oprah-tunity: Time to get down to business

    Twitter is making more revenue - yes INCOME - (not only investment capital) - than you can imagine!

    Why is it some grand secret how much revenue Twitter is bringing in???

    Am I the only journalist who KNOWS their current business model?

    Beyond belief....

    Bruce Wagner dot com
    brucewagner
  • RE: Twitter's Oprah-tunity: Time to get down to business

    Twitter is keeping it real corporate govnorance and social responsibility allowing people to be social. I admit I am being followed by some people and I am following some people.
    If I had a choice of who was following one would be Oprah. WE are still marketing
    DL SERVICES INC. http://dlservicesincservices.com
    manager2
  • RE: Twitter's Oprah-tunity: Time to get down to business

    Yes, let's charge the big names, celebs and
    corporations for the use of Twitter, if they want any guarantees. However, let's say some company that is
    large wants to use Twitter, but doesn't want any of
    the guarantees. Why should *they* pay? Or worse,
    imagine if they started charging everyone across the
    board? I don't want to pay to use Twitter because they
    want to make money off the likes of Oprah and Ashton
    Kutcher. And if a company is just fine with good-faith
    service, just as it's delivered today, they shouldn't
    have to pay, either.

    Kirn Gill - http://myspace.com/segin_takushiro
    segin2005